An industry association of more than 200 member companies, MEF enables a global ecosystem of networks that deliver on-demand services for the digital economy and hyper-connected world. These agile, assured, and orchestrated services provide a cloud-centric experience with user and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities. These services are delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks powered by Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO), SDN, and NFV. MEF produces LSO frameworks, open LSO APIs, software-driven reference implementations, service specifications, certification programs, and market education. MEF’s work will enable automated delivery of standardized wavelength, Carrier Ethernet, IP, SD-WAN, and Layer 4-7 services across multiple provider networks.
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The paradigm shift from static connectivity to dynamic/agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services is well underway and dozens of service providers now offer on-demand connectivity services and NFV-based virtual services or are planning to do so during 2017-2019. Leading service providers, technology vendors, open source projects, standards organizations, and others have warmly embraced the Third Network Vision and are collaborating with MEF to accelerate the industry transition. Continually evolving, the MEF facilitates industry-neutral implementation environments for service orchestration (OpenLSO) and L2-L7 connectivity services (OpenCS) based on Open Source, SDN and NFV, as well as current commercial PNF products. MEF Certification programs continue to certify of compliance to MEF standards by the majority of industry leading companies and provides a broad range of marketing capabilities that provide MEF members of all sizes and in all geographic locations with unique, powerful and cost-effective customer-networking and profile-raising opportunities.
MEF Overview | Third Network Vision | Third Network Vision White Paper | Industry Initiative for Third Network Services White Paper | Life Cycle Services Orchestration Introduction | Life Cycle Services Orchestration Introduction White Paper | MEF's Open Initiatives
MEF's Service to the Industry
MEF defined the Third Network concept, which combines the agility and ubiquity of the Internet with the performance and security of CE 2.0 networks. Third Network services provide an on-demand experience with user-directed control over service capabilities and cloud connectivity. These new services are delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks powered by LSO (Lifecycle Services Orchestration), SDN, NFV, and CE 2.0 (Carrier Ethernet 2.0).
MEF is uniting industry efforts to enable service providers to orchestrate on-demand services across multiple providers and multiple technology domains (e.g., Packet WAN, NFV, SD WAN, etc.) within a single network provider. Orchestrated inter-provider services, in particular, have true game-changing potential for service innovation, competition, and revenue generation.
MEF leverages more than 200 leading member companies, including 130 service providers, network operator and its technology vendor community, builds upon the robust $80 billion Carrier Ethernet services and technology market, and provides a practical evolution to the Third Network with LSO, SDN, and NFV implementations that build upon a CE 2.0 foundation.
Value of Membership
MEF members include Tier 1, 2 and 3 service providers, hardware and OSS/orchestration software providers, as well as test labs, test equipment and test software providers. Our membership is global with approximately 50% from North America, 23% from APAC, 21% from EMEA and 6% from CALA.
There is a single category of membership, principal company membership, with an annual fee of $17,250. There are no charges to participate at quarterly members meetings or in MEF’s LSO Hackathons. There is no limit on the number of individuals who can participate from a given member company.
Membership benefits include:
- Advance visibility into relevant industry technical standards developments
- Ability to influence standards to align with corporate objectives
- Achieve align of standards to your corporate objectives
- Achieve thought leadership among MEF’s 130+ SP members through collaboration
- Gain corporate and individual visibility through participation
- Gain recognition through by collaboration efforts in MEF’s marketing activities
- Services & equipment certification
MEF offers a number of services, events and educational resources to its member. This work, derived through the significant efforts of MEF staff and member companies, is utilized to promote the MEF’s mission and strategy for the global adoption of the work of the MEF.
MEF defined specifications are enabled though the certification of services, products and professionals. MEF Services Certification Program enables service providers to certify that their Carrier Ethernet services comply with the relevant MEF specifications. The MEF Technology Certification Program certifies that network equipment manufacturers Carrier Ethernet products comply with the relevant MEF specifications. MEF's Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional (MEF-CECP) certification is the world's most popular vendor-neutral certification, with nearly 5,000 MEF-CECPs employed by 440+ companies in 83 countries. MEF-CECPs demonstrate expertise and excellence in technological knowledge and understanding of Carrier Ethernet service specifications and definitions. Introduced in 2017, MEF's Third Network Foundations (MEF-TNF) certification validates individuals’ concept-level understanding of key Third Network terms, processes, and elements. Knowledge and practice domains include CE, LSO/Orchestration, SDN, NFV, Open Source Software, and Network Security. Overviews of each program and the registries which display the technologies, services and professionals who have achieved certification can be found at the following links:
Members are encouraged to propose and contribute to the development of widely used MEF white papers. MEF maintains a vast library of materials that member can use for internal training and external marketing purposes. MEF seminars and webinars presentations are also made available to members.
MEF white papers | Presentations
- Third Network News, MEF in the News & Member Bulletins: Bringing together the topics of LSO, SDN, NFV and CE 2.0, Third Network News is MEF’s news site that is populated with relevant content such as articles, press releases, and videos. Third Network News serves to amplify the achievement of the MEF membership. MEF member bulletins include quarterly meeting project summaries and highlight opportunities to participate in marketing activities.
- Social Media: MEF is active in posting information and strategic highlights on social media channels: LinkedIn |Twitter | Youtube
- MEF Press Releases & Briefings: MEF engages regularly with the global press. MEF members are encouraged to contribute to MEF’s PR efforts by participating in interviews and articles. MEF shares its press releases with its membership through multiple mechanisms including Press Releases and MEF in the News. MEF also creates select joint press releases for special news stories initiated by members.
- Analyst Relations & Member Surveys: MEF maintains regular communications with prominent analysts. MEF also conducts surveys regarding Service Provider requirements, often in conjunction with industry analysts. Survey results are made available to MEF members.
- MEF participates in more than 40+ events per year including customized seminars, webinars, and industry events, which provides our members an opportunity to speak on a variety of topics. See links below for information on where and how we participate.
- MEF’s flagship global networking event, MEF17, will be held on 13-16 November 2017, at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort in Orlando, Florida US with a target audience of 1,000+ attendees and 60 sponsors.
- MEF presents at dozens of industry events each year and its members with subject matter expertise may speak on behalf of MEF and are typically provided with free event passes. Speaker content is provided by MEF. MEF includes speakers’ company logos on the cover slides. Speaking opportunities provide high visibility at industry events and in associate with MEF’s brand.
- MEF hosts half-day and full-day seminars that can be sponsored by MEF members. Speaking spots are available for MEF members. Seminar content is developed by MEF with input from MEF members and speakers. Company logos are displayed on the cover slides for each session. MEF also hosts both public and members-only webinars on a range of topics. Members can initiate ideas for webinars and present on webinars based on approval from MEF’s Marketing Committee. Webinars typically draw an audience of more than 200 attendees.
- MEF Quarterly Members Meetings are held in January, April, July/August and October each year. The 4-day meetings take place in North America (3x) and Europe (1x) with typically 150-250 attendees. These meetings are important for influencing MEF work and for networking informally with industry thought leaders, subject matter experts, customers and prospects at cocktail receptions, corridor meetings and evening dinners. Between meetings, projects are progressed via a collaborative MEF wiki workspace and online meetings. MEF provides GoTo Meeting for all projects.
MEF’s Proof of Concept Showcase, held at MEF17, spotlights innovations that promise to reshape the services and technology landscape. MEF hosts multiple LSO Hackathons where Open Source community developers and Carrier Ethernet services networking experts collaborate and develop solutions based on MEF specifications in order to accelerate the implementation of agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services.
This prestigious program recognizes excellence and innovation in the emerging Third Network community. MEF’s awards program is the largest, longest-running in the world focused on Carrier Ethernet services and applications and is among the first in the industry to spotlight leadership in emerging dynamic Third Network services powered by CE 2.0, LSO, NFV and SDN networking technologies. The MEF Awards Program is announced approximately June or July each year followed by requests for participation. Participation does not require MEF membership.
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